Starting January 1, 2021, is Walt Disney World discontinuing complimentary MagicBands for resort guests since roll out? Yes. While they are still available for Disney Resort guests for the remainder of 2020, there will be new options instead. So, what will happen to our old MagicBands? Will MagicBands be gone completely? And what about their features? Here’s exactly what we know so far regarding complimentary Disney MagicBands.
I absolutely adore the efficiency of Disney MagicBands. They open Disney World Resort guest rooms, allow me to pay for meals and purchases, and sync my PhotoPass photos to My Disney Experience and my Annual Pass as well. They also, when available, keep my Fastpasses in check.
And, since the beginning I’ve been collecting both the standard color MagicBands and the Limited edition versions. To me, they’re like a cool Disney bracelet. Basically, they’re your key to Walt Disney World.
Sure, I’ve declined a few times as my family has so many, but it is nice that they are free with resort stays. Free until 2021, that is. So, if you check into a Disney Resort on December 31, 2020 or earlier, you’ll still have complimentary MagicBands. After that? No more complimentary MagicBands. Here’s what you can expect.
Why Is Disney World Discontinuing Complimentary MagicBands for Resort Guests?
A couple of reasons, actually. First, compliments of the massive changes in the parks this year, and for safety reasons, you won’t have the option for complimentary MagicBands. This one makes sense to me as Disney staff is far less than before it closed in March. Also, with the push of mobile check-in, you really don’t have to stop at the check-in desk unless there’s an issue.
Second, Disney Parks Blog let us in on a major change for Walt Disney World. To keep My Disney Experience ever evolving, the same features available to MagicBands will be available on the app. Since the kickoff of My Disney Experience, it’s been rolling out updates and new features pretty frequently.
Disney’s Official Statement via Disney Parks Blog:
“As you begin planning your upcoming visits, we’re also exploring engaging ways for guests to use their mobile tech to experience the magic – particularly now as the use of phones and apps continues to evolve. In 2021, we plan to unveil an innovative new offering as part of the My Disney Experience (MDE) app that will bring features of a MagicBand to your smart devices, building on the app’s existing digital key feature. With this new offering on the horizon, we will be retiring our complimentary MagicBand distribution to Disney Resort hotel guests for new reservations with arrivals beginning Jan. 1, 2021.”
This year with the announcement of Disney Genie, there has been speculation that the new planning feature will be incorporated into MDE. And, while Disney Genie’s full features are still under wraps, I’m actually very curious as to its usability. I can’t wait to try out its park touring ideas and see if they fit my touring style.
Will Disney MagicBands Still Be Usable?
As it looks for now, yes. We’ll still be able to purchase Disney MagicBands at a discounted rate or receive a Key to the World card. You can still buy them in at Disney World retail locations and on shopDisney as well. Last year, we were given the option to “upgrade” complimentary MagicBands when we made a reservation for an additional fee. This option was available for a few months and then stopped and only standard MagicBands were offered.
Am I happy that Disney MagicBands will still be a go? Definitely. When I’m at Disney World, I really try not to be stuck staring at my phone’s screen the whole time. Plus, having to keep charging my phone is not ideal for me. Sure, I bring battery charges into the parks but, again, I do enjoy the ease of use for MagicBands.
What are your thoughts on Disney World discontinuing complimentary MagicBands? Please let me know in the comment section below!